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Marriage Act 1949

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75 Offences relating to solemnization of marriages.E+W

(1)Any person who knowingly and wilfully—

(a)solemnizes a marriage at any other time than between the hours of eight in the forenoon and six in the afternoon (not being a marriage by special licence, a marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or a marriage between two persons professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews);

(b)solemnizes a marriage according to the rites of the Church of England without banns of matrimony having been duly published (not being a marriage solemnized on the authority of a special licence, a common licence or [F1certificates] of a superintendent registrar);

(c)solemnizes a marriage according to the said rites (not being a marriage by special licence [F2or a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act]) in any place other than a church or other building in which banns may be published;

(d)solemnizes a marriage according to the said rites falsely pretending to be in Holy Orders;

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

(2)Any person who knowingly and wilfully—

(a)solemnizes a marriage (not being a marriage by special licence, a marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or a marriage between two persons professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews) in any place other than—

(i)a church or other building in which marriages may be solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England, or

(ii)the registered building [F3office [F4, approved premises] or person’s residence specified as the place where the marriage was to be solemnized] in the [F5notices of marriage and certificates] required under Part III of this Act;

[F6(aa)solemnizes a marriage purporting to be in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act on premises that are not approved premises;]

(b)solemnizes a marriage in any such registered building as aforesaid (not being a marriage in the presence of an authorised person) in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the registered building is situated;

[F7(bb)solemnizes a marriage in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd) of this Act, otherwise than according to the rites of the Church of England, in the absence of a registrar of the registration district in which the place where the marriage is solemnized is situated;]

(c)solemnizes a marriage in the office of a superintendent registrar in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the office is situated;

[F8(cc)solemnizes a marriage on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1)(bb) of this Act in the absence of a registrar of the district in which the premises are situated;]

(d)solemnizes a marriage on the authority of [F9certificates] of a superintendent registrar [F9before the expiry of the waiting period in relation to each notice of marriage]; or

(e)solemnizes a marriage on the authority of [F10certificates] of a superintendent registrar after the expiration of [F11the period which is, in relation to that marriage, the applicable period for the purposes of section 33 of this Act];

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

[F12(2A)In subsection (2)(d) “the waiting period” has the same meaning as in section 31(4A).]

(3)A superintendent registrar who knowingly and wilfully—

[F13(a)issues any certificate for marriage before the expiry of 15 days from the day on which the notice of marriage was entered in the marriage notice book;]

(b)issues any certificate F14. . . for marriage after the expiration of [F15the period which is, in relation to that marriage, the applicable period for the purposes of section 33 of this Act];

(c)issues any certificate the issue of which has been forbidden under section thirty of this Act by any person entitled to forbid the issue of such a certificate; or

(d)solemnizes or permits to be solemnized in his office [F16or, in the case of a marriage in pursuance of [F17section 26(1)(bb) or (dd)] of this Act, in any other place] any marriage which is void by virtue of any of the provisions of Part III of this Act;

shall be guilty of felony and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

(4)No prosecution under this section shall be commenced after the expiration of three years from the commission of the offence.

(5)Any reference in subsection (2) of this section to a registered building shall be construed as including a reference to any chapel registered under section seventy of this Act.

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Amendments (Textual)

F10Words in s. 75(2)(e) substituted (1.1.2001) by 1999 c. 33, s. 169(1), Sch. 14 paras. 3. 30(1)(3)(c); S.I. 2000/2698, art. 2

F11Words in s. 75(2)(e) substituted (1.10.1997) by S.I. 1997/986, art. 2(4)

F15Words in s. 75(3)(b) substituted (1.10.1997) by S.I. 1997/986, art. 2(4)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

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